Shareholder advisory group flags auditor Deloitte’s development advice role

Cheesegrater, Leadenhall by British Land

British Land has been criticised over its decision to reappoint Deloitte as auditor amid allegations of a ‘conflict of interests’, the Times has reported.

Shareholder advisory group Pirc recommended that British Land shareholders oppose the appointment, after flagging that the firm paid Deloitte’s property division – Driver Jonas Deloitte – £300,000 in consultancy fees.

The fees were for advice relating to 75 acres of development land next to British Land’s Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield.

Pirc said the consultancy fees equated to 80% of Deloitte’s audit fees last year from British Land.

Auditors are obliged to be free of conflict.

Drivers Jonas Deloitte offers a range of property consultancy services, including project management, quantity surveying, planning and sustainability.

Leadenhall building developer British Land said in its annual report that all consultancy fees were approved by its audit committee, which must act within Financial Services Authority regulations.